How To: Concentric Heart Quilting

I made this little wall hanging a year ago.  I had this dream about the idea of a partial log cabin block, turned into a HST (half square triangle).  The dream even came with colors and specific fabrics.  I wasn’t sure it would work so I wanted to try it.  I  started out with 2 squares = 2 HST.  Check out my How To: Half Square Triangles (HST).

It looked great!  I decided to make all 16 blocks and assemble.  This is what I ended up with. Concentric heart - before quilting.JPGIt measures 15″x15″, with each of the HST/log cabin blocks at 2 1/4″x2 1/4″ finished.

I even completed it before Valentines day, which was my goal at the time.  I was so proud!  This was the start of my original design ideas.  The seams lined up really well and the design idea worked out.  I pinned it up on my wall and it stayed there until I just “saw” it again.  I thought it was time to quilt it and started letting ideas run wild in my head.  

I finally took it down today and want to try the idea that just kept coming back: concentric hearts!  I wasn’t sure it would work, but I would never know unless I tried.  I had Aurifil thread in Bubblegum color, a varigated thread in shades of pink, 50 wt, that would look wonderful!

I started with basting the quilt sandwich (front & back).  I like to check the back before I begin to make sure it is smooth with no odd lines, folds or imperfections.

Next, I took my quilting marker and drew the inner heart.  I had to meet at the top and then radiate out from the original heart.  The rest would just dip down at the top and begin the next one.  I could see the blue marker on the black fabric for quilting but it does not show well in the photo.Concentric heart - quilting design

I started with the center heart, had a little bit of a bump of the side.  The smallest heart was the hardest.  I was so excited to start that I forgot to pull my bobbin thread to the top.Concentric heart - starting quiltingThen continued with the design growing larger with each successive heart.Concentric heart - quilting 1

I let the feed dogs guide the process and speed.  I only lifted the presser foot at the top and bottom points of the heart.Concentric heart - quilting 2Once I reached the edges I filled in with the same design that was left for that area.Concentric heart - quilting 3

Once completed with the entire quilt sandwich I looked at the design.Concentric heart - quilted

I lost a bit of the heart shape at the top.  I realized that I was not as much as a fan as I thought.  Some ideas work out, some – not so much.

I still wanted to finish it.  I have an unspoken rule: NO MORE UFOS!  (UFOS are Unfinished Objects to the non-quilty.)  I needed to audition fabrics for the best look for the binding.Concentric heart - binding auditions

The top pink was a NO!  I liked the plaid pink but realized the black would show through and not look good.  I was undecided on the white or black but was leaning towards the black.

This part of the process is ALWAYS the hardest for me.  Not sure why, I make decisions all day about everything but cannot decide on binding colors.  I consulted the design department (my Hubs) when he came home for lunch, white was his choice.  I also asked my 8 year-old daughter on the walk home from school.  She also suggested the white.  “Mom, white will really make it POP!” was her exact suggestion.  So, white it was to be.

Once finished I wanted to try hanging it on point.  I liked the heart shape quilting more this way.Concentric heart - finished, on point

Here it is in the traditional way.Concentric heart - finished

Well, new things to try.  Sometimes try and fail.  Maybe fail is to strong of a word here, just know to not try again?

Which do you prefer: on point or traditional?

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